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It's business as usual for Qualcomm despite injunction

Posted: 04 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:UMTS device? patent infringement? Qualcomm-Broadcom war?

Despite the Dec. 31 ruling ordering Qualcomm Inc. to stop producing and selling 3G chipsets that infringe Broadcom Corp. patents, the company launched new UMTS devices that it says comply with the decision.

U.S. District Judge James Selna also ruled that Qualcomm can keep selling some chips whose designs infringe three patents held by rival Broadcom through January 2009.

Qualcomm said Wednesday (Jan. 2) that the latest devices are pin- and software-compatible with the existing product versions, providing device manufacturers with drop-in replacements for a seamless transition. It added that Qualcomm expects the new chipsets will be in commercial U.S. handsets before the end of Q1 08. Shipments of chipsets for devices intended for international markets were not affected by the ruling.

Qualcomm also warned it anticipates an "immediate, short-term impact" from the Dec. 31 federal court ruling, but in a statement, would not specify the potential impact. It added it is assessing its legal options, including another appeal that would again stretch the many legal battles with rival chipmaker Broadcom.

The company also stressed it is continuing development of possible "work-arounds" for the two disputed patents, covering simultaneous-network-access and push-to-talk technologies.

"Qualcomm has available new UMTS chipsets that offer a seamless transition for impacted device manufacturers who are shipping devices into the U.S. market based on our flagship products," said Alex Katouzian, VP of Qualcomm CDMA technologies. "We are working to comply fully with the court ruling while minimizing the impact on our partners."

The company also warned of the ruling's potential impact on certain products in the development pipeline for the U.S. market, as well as Qualcomm's longer-term ability to implement work-arounds in time to launch handsets by the January 2009 deadline.

- John Walko
EE Times-Europe

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